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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 July 27 - August 2  > TEPCO cuts electricity to Fukushima-affected farmers who are in arrears of past due bill
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2011 July 27 - August 2 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

TEPCO cuts electricity to Fukushima-affected farmers who are in arrears of past due bill

July 27, 2011
Akahata on July 26 learned that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is warning that the utility is moving to cut off electricity to Fukushima-affected farmhouses in arrears of electricity bill.

The disaster-affected farmers are suffering from heavy financial losses caused by TEPCO’s nuclear accident at its Fukushima plant.

One such example is a mushroom farmer in Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture, about 200km from the TEPCO’s crippled reactors.

In the aftermath of the plant explosions, many middle traders canceled their orders with the farmer. The mushroom grower suffered a loss of more than seven million yen and became unable to afford to pay the electricity charges to continue with its mushroom production, resulting in about 750,000 yen in back payments due. TEPCO’s Maebashi branch gave the farmer a warning that electricity will be cut off if the farmer does not pay the bill.

Literally at a loss, the farmer visited the Gunma chapter of the National Federation of Farmers Movement (Nominren) for advice.

The farmer, accompanied by Gunma-Nominren members, on July 26 lodged a protest with TEPCO’s Gunma branch over the notice.

Claiming, “Damage compensation and delinquency in payment are separate issues,” TEPCO officials refused to provide any relief or extention.

In Tokyo, Nominren leaders, including Secretary General Sasawatari Yoshio, visited the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to demand that the government immediately launch a bridge-loan program as an emergency step.

The Nominren representatives angrily said, “We wonder if TEPCO is aware of the fact that it is responsible for causing the damage to farmers.”
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